Despite one thwarted attempt to get to Frankfurt this year (a freezing snowstorm forced Dusseldorf, Munich and Frankfurt airports to close the day we were scheduled to fly out,) Ambiente was thankfully worth the wait.
Last year’s fair might have shown recessionary signs with fewer exhibitors and conservative launches, but with the addition of an entire new hall, Ambiente, now unimaginably bigger than ever before, reaffirmed its status as the meeting point of business and design.
The fair’s strongest suit is undoubtedly the sheer mass of exhibitors that it manages to draw to Frankfurt each year (4,504 in 2010), and though at times seemingly endless, each of the eleven halls was made conquerable, thanks to several showcases mixed into the swarming halls.
Trend presentations, such as the 300-year retrospective on German porcelain design, kept things light (and us refreshed), while Japanese and Chinese pavilions opened our eyes to several new products from new names.
Best of all was the great amount of support for emerging talent this year; Ambiente sponsored 18 designers from 13 nations to present concepts on home and living (we most wanted a piece Burkhard Schaller’s mobile triptych kitchen), while 17 held fort on the dining and tableware front.
Students from the Offenbach School of Design also exhibited kitchen design prototypes, such as Simon Scloer’s jam maker, in Hall 4.0 besides more commercial brands.